Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Lleyns anyone?  (Read 15689 times)

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2014, 11:55:02 am »
Probably an even better choice would be to get older ewes that have lambed before initially.  They will know what they are doing then, even if you don't ;).  You can have fun and games with shearlings and ewe lambs, for different reasons, so maybe best to avoid them for the first year.  Older ewes would be cheaper too.  See if you can get 2- or 3-tooth ewes, still plenty of life left in them.

georgielmgm

  • Joined May 2014
  • 17, starting small with my 8 ewes
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2014, 11:59:22 am »
Thanks, probably best, I'm not inexperienced, and my mum is very experienced, but I don't really want the risk of abortions/prolapses/dead/weak lambs if I've only got a few ewes to start anyway, and then all my flock won't be the same age which is a good thing I've heard?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2014, 12:23:23 pm »
Another vote for older ewes, even if you are experienced.  A first-timer (she and you!) has enough to contend with, without a first-time mother / new shepherd to boot!  Older girls will know the ropes and, if you select ones that aren't too flighty, you and they should get along fine :)

Then keeping the good ewe lambs on as replacements, they'll always have known you, and as long as your handling is always calm and kind, there's no reason for them to be flighty or nervous.

As a general rule we don't lamb hoggs.  We may do the odd pair or three now and again, but on the whole we prefer to give them more growing and growing up time, and believe you get it back at the other end of their lives.

I have to say, though, that Eblex disagrees with me.  See the leaflet on breeding from ewe lambs on this page.

Oh, and if we do lamb hoggs, we use a tup that will be easy on them.  So not a Texel, on the whole.  We'll use Dutch Texel (a small one with narrower shoulders and hips), a Charollais, a Shetland or Shetland x.  If we had access to a Lleyn tup, we'd happily use one of them ;)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

georgielmgm

  • Joined May 2014
  • 17, starting small with my 8 ewes
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2014, 12:27:10 pm »
Thanks for the tips, will read the Eblex leaflet with interest, quite a few seem to be of the opinion that the extra growing time gives for healthier lambs and longer potential lambing life from the ewes

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2014, 12:31:40 pm »
then all my flock won't be the same age which is a good thing I've heard?
yes, that way every year you can replace a percentage of the older ones with the best of the ewe lambs that you've bred.  e.g if you keep all your ewes until they are 4 (like in a hill flock) then every year you would be looking to replace 25% of your flock by retaining ewe-lambs.  If you keep them until they are 6 then it would be 16% etc.  or something like that, I'm sure you get what I'm trying to say :) - a constant  process of replacing old with new.  (this is all based on keeping a closed flock of a constant size, i.e not buying in new ewes each year, which is beneficial from a health status point of view as you aren't buying in disease)


And I'd vote for lambing ewe-lambs (I do) :D.

georgielmgm

  • Joined May 2014
  • 17, starting small with my 8 ewes
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #35 on: August 06, 2014, 12:34:13 pm »
Interesting, thanks  :thumbsup:
And how do they get on? Do the results vary between breed?

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2014, 01:33:47 pm »
I have BWM and they lamb fine, but I breed pure.  I would never put a terminal sire type ram on a ewe-lamb.  I find shearlings are just a pain in the ass, they run around not knowing what has just popped out of them, or run around trying to steal other ewes lambs before they have lambed themselves.  Or they get too fat in their first year and then that gives potential prolapse issues etc.  My ewe lambs just pop them out and get on with it, nay bother :).  Don't flush them, and don't over feed them pre-lambing, you don't want big lambs.  A steady low-rate feeding program (or good grazing) throughout winter is best for ewe-lambs (as per the eblex docs etc).
It can also come down to , if you wait until they are shearlings then that's one winter's hay/feed you have to provide for it without getting anything in return.

georgielmgm

  • Joined May 2014
  • 17, starting small with my 8 ewes
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2014, 01:38:30 pm »
I've actually noticed that with a few shearlings I've worked with, the young ewe lambs seem to deal fine, and the older mothers are obviously pros, but the ones that tend to end up being those really blinking annoying 'nanny ewes' always seem to be shearlings!
All sounds sensible advice thanks, especially on winter's hay/feed!  :excited:

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2014, 03:41:32 pm »
Another vote for Lleyn.  Can't fault them except that in our experience they were a little too prone to having triplets and quads, and on our ground that's not really a good plan.  However even if they did have multiples they mostly did make a good job of them.

You won't get market-topping double-muscled backside lambs out of a Lleyn, but you'll produce perfectly acceptable, saleable lambs which will sell finished or in the store without much need of cake or cosseting.  And if you can put her to a Texel, she'll produce a better lamb still.

I'm not a fan of Suffolks for a lot of reasons, but the main one is that heavy lambs is not what the market wants to buy.  So you spend more money - and effort too - getting these chunky great dopey things finished, and then get less per head than you would for a smaller but well-finished Llleyn x Texel ;)
Woo hoo! I'm renting a field out winter grazing to a texel hobby breader, who has offered one of her Rams which she can't use anymore as a free service at tupping. She assures me he has a narrow head and his lambs are usually born without assistance (my big worry)... So you have reassured me and I'm going to go for it! Thanks

georgielmgm

  • Joined May 2014
  • 17, starting small with my 8 ewes
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2014, 09:29:19 pm »
I just have to share with everyone, I'm very impressed with the 3 pages of posts on this, I feel like I'm really progressing in the forum world! Thanks for all your help, you've all been super useful! I'll let you know how I get on!  :fc: :excited: :sheep:

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2014, 12:16:27 am »
As said, older ewes may be less hassle, ones that have had a crop of lambs or two. But when buying older ewes, be careful. I would be wary of buying them from a sale etc. The only older ewes that leave this place, leave for a reason. So unless you've done your homework, and know what to look for, you can buy someone else's problems. However if you shop smart you can do well and get a bargain!

With regard to lambing ewe lambs, we tup on weight. So if the lamb has made a certain weight by tupping (in our case 60 kilo) then she gets tupped. It's all good practice, and every lamb sold from the ewe lambs is one you wouldn't have if you didn't tup them. But they can be a wee bit more hassle, so they are brought in close and lambed in paddocks around the house etc.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #41 on: August 07, 2014, 01:07:01 am »
when buying older ewes, be careful. I would be wary of buying them from a sale etc. The only older ewes that leave this place, leave for a reason. So unless you've done your homework, and know what to look for, you can buy someone else's problems. However if you shop smart you can do well and get a bargain!

I don't know about Wales, but up here the higher fell and moorland farms sell draft ewes of their hill breed as a major crop.  Some sell very few ewe lambs and shearling gimmers, but sell a majority of their ewes at 2- or 3-crop.  The hill is a hard place, and these girls will go on and have a productive life on a less hard farm, whereas they'd probably only manage one more crop on the hill.

So do your homework, and aim to buy draft ewes from a farm which *produces* draft ewes ;)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

georgielmgm

  • Joined May 2014
  • 17, starting small with my 8 ewes
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #42 on: August 07, 2014, 10:13:21 am »
With our good relationship with our local farmer if he were to let me rent a field of two off him, they would either be very close to our house, or he may even let me lamb indoors so as long as they reached tupping weight (a good way of gauging it) and could look after lambs successfully, which you say they do, I would be close at hand for any difficulties, and I know if i wasn't there one of the farm hands would ring me to let me know if there was a problem, or even lamb her himself. I've got a really good support network round me :hug:
Not really near any hills (at all) i"m on the Rutland/Lincs border so flat flat flat mostly! Will see how I go and if I get the opportunity to have them close or even inside then I'd probably lamb the ewe lambs, looking at other people's advice/experience

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2014, 10:55:29 am »
Sally - You are totally correct! We have bought similar draft ewes here. But as a low land farm. . . . if we are sending it to market at 2/3/4 years old . . . . . it's because we don't want it here. I.E it's got crap feet, crap mum etc.

georgielmgm

  • Joined May 2014
  • 17, starting small with my 8 ewes
Re: Lleyns anyone?
« Reply #44 on: August 07, 2014, 11:00:48 am »
That would be my worry, around me most of the farmers cull if the ewe isn't up to scratch but I guess for smaller flocks it's more appealing to at least try and get a bit of money from a cull ewe, I really want to start with a fresh flock and I worry that I'd be buying in problems if I bought older ewes, even though they may be cheaper and I could get more of them, I also wouldn't know how to see the signs of a healthier older ewe. Surely better to go to a flock running with the same system as I'm looking at using and spend perhaps more on fewer really good quality ewe lambs that are going to do my better in the long run, once I get past that tricky first lambing season?

 

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